German Lessons


Auch, sogar, selbst: The adverb "even" in German

Auch im zweiten Drittel ließen die Löwen nicht locker.

Even in the second third of the game, the Löwen did not relax.

Caption 25, Eishockey - Löwen Frankfurt - EC Bad Nauheim

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You are likely used to auch meaning "also," but did you know that it can mean "even" as well? There are three words for the adverb "even" that are essentially interchangeable in German: auch, selbst, and sogar. They are often combined with wenn. Below we see that auch wenn means "even if" and sometimes "even though":


Auch wenn es mir mein Herz zerreißt

Even if it tears my heart up

Caption 5, Beatrice Egli - Irgendwann

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Doch auch wenn im Film viel Basketball gespielt wird: Ein Sportfilm soll es dennoch nicht werden.

But even though a lot of basketball is played in the movie, it is not intended to be a sports movie.

Captions 45-46, Dreharbeiten - zum Film „Playoff“

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In a previous lesson, we wrote about how the word selbst is used in the context of a person having made or done something themselves. However, in certain contexts, it is placed in front of the subject and means "even" as well:


Doch selbst bei Temperaturen wie im Kühlschrank...

But even at temperatures like in the refrigerator...

Caption 31, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 1

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Selbst ausgewachsen werden diese Tintenfische gerade mal zwanzig Zentimeter groß.

Even fully grown, these squid will only become twenty centimeters long.

Caption 28, Abenteuer Nordsee - Unter Riesenhaien und Tintenfischen

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The dual meaning of selbst means that it cannot be used in every sentence, because it would cause confusion. You have likely heard sogar more often:


In Berlin treten die besten von ihnen sogar in Wettkämpfen gegeneinander an.

In Berlin, the best of them even enter into competitions against one another.

Caption 34, Currywurst - Berlins schärfstes Stück

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Er kann sogar den Airbus A dreihundertachtzig drücken und ziehen.

It can even push and pull an Airbus A three hundred eighty.

Caption 18, Frankfurter Flughafen - Flugzeugschlepper

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Further Learning
For further examples, just do a simple search, as there are many on Yabla German!
See if you can also find examples of noch, which can also be translated as "even" when it augments an adjective. 

Compounds of Spring

It may not be exactly warm out yet in old Berlin, but Frühling is definitely in the air. The sun has been out more than usual and we're starting to see some buds on the bushes and trees! Let's take a look at some compound nouns that can be formed from the German word for "spring."



Vielmehr sollten die Tiere jetzt darauf achten, dass ihnen die Frühlingsgefühle nicht durchgehen.

Instead, the animals now ought to take heed that these spring feelings don't get the best of them.

Captions 43-44, Rhein-Main-TV aktuell - Frühling im Zoo

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Erst ab Mai bekommen sie hier oben Frühlingsgefühle.

Not until May do they get spring fever up here.

Caption 46, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten

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Das Frühlingsgefühl is a compound noun made by joining der Frühling with das Gefühl. In the first example, it is translated directly as "spring feeling," and in the second case more literarily as "spring fever."


Compounds can also be made from der Frühling relating to specific times of day: 


Es ist ein wunderschöner Frühlingsmorgen heute.

It is a wonderfully beautiful spring morning today.

Caption 2, Berlin - Eva im Viktoriapark

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Leopardeneis und Vanilleeis, ein Traum für einen sonnigen Frühlingsnachmittag.

Leopard ice cream and vanilla ice cream, a dream for a sunny spring afternoon.

Caption 46, Eis - Eiskalte Leidenschaft

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Or about time in a more general sense: 


Frühlingszeit ist Fahrradzeit.

Springtime is bike time.

Caption 1, Fahrrad - Frühjahrs-Check

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Die Frankfurter haben nach dem sonnigen Wochenende auch heute die ersten Frühlingstage am Mainufer genossen.

The residents of Frankfurt have, after the sunny weekend, enjoyed the first days of spring on the shore of the Main [River] today too.

Captions 4-5, Rhein-Main-TV aktuell - Der Frühling ist da

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Further Learning
Watch the above videos on Yabla German to help get you into the mood for spring and improve your German too! Then check out this list of compound words that can be made from der Frühling. Don't forget to get outside and soak up a little bit of sunshine! 

Cool Off this Summer in the Alps

This week saw the introduction of an exciting new nature series on German Yabla. Alpenseen: Kühle Schönheiten is a beautifully filmed documentary about wildlife deep in the icy lakes of the Alps. If the summer heat is starting to get to you, cool down with this video and learn the German names of some very curious plants and animals while you're at it:



Die Alpen haben vielfältige Gesichter. Luchse und Steinböcke gehören dazu...

The Alps have many faces. Lynxes and ibexes are part of this...

Captions 2-3, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 1

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Wenn Gemsen mit scharfen Hufen Pflanzentriebe, Moose und Flechten freischarren, müssen sie aufpassen.

When chamois with sharp hooves scratch up plant shoots, moss and lichen, they must be careful.

Captions 23-24, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 1

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Auch die Bergmolche zieht es hier oben später zum Wasser als ihre Artgenossen im Tiefland.

Even the alpine newts take to the water later up here than their species counterparts in the lowlands.

Captions 41-42, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 1

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Doch daneben existiert noch eine andere Welt. Sie liegt verborgen unterm Eis...

But next to it exists yet another world. It lies hidden beneath the ice...

Captions 5-6, Alpenseen - Kühle Schönheiten - Part 1

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So chill out with Yabla German when the heat gets be too much, and bleibt cool beim Deutschlernen!


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Caption 42, 41, 24, 23, 6, 5, 3, 2

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